LASA launches 3 million reasons campaign to protect aged care workers
“Every 71 minutes another older Australia is denied the care they need. If the workforce is not supported 279,000 Australians will be denied care by 2050,” says Patrick Reid, CEO of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).
“By 2050 the age services workforce needs to triple. The age services industry cannot operate without a skilled workforce.”
This is an alarming prediction and one LASA, the peak body of age service providers, is aiming to combat with the 3 Million Reasons to Support Age Services campaign launched in Sydney on May 22 by LASA Chair, General Peter Cosgrove.
The campaign fittingly gets its name from the current number of Australians aged 65 and over and is one of many projects to be initiated since Mr Reid joined the organisation as CEO in February this year. His appointment was hailed by Gen Cosgrove (ret) as “a real triumph for LASA and the aged care sector. He is a very talented executive with a tremendous background in advocacy and stakeholder representation, governance, negotiation and healthcare management, all of which equip him well to lead LASA in this most significant of times for our industry”.
Since his appointment LASA has completed a national road show to gather feedback from more than 630 aged service providers and met with key stakeholders and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler and Shadow Minister Sen Fierravanti-Wells.
“Age Services are amidst the greatest reform known,” Mr Reid says.
“Both LASA and its members want to see age service workers properly recognised and renumerated for the quality care they provide and this is only possible if government funding matches the care older Australians need.
“By 2050 the age services workforce needs to triple. The age services industry cannot operate without a skilled workforce. While government funding is less than the care provided, providers often struggle to deliver the care that is required and to remunerate staff to the levels they deserve. Age services are no different to other industries that provide community services and care. Teaching, nursing and childcare have long fought for greater funding in order to support and retain their workforces,” Mr Reid says.
Figures provided by LASA give an alarming overview of the situation age services faces in the future. They indicate one in four Australians will require age services by 2065; over the next nine years, 83,000 new beds will be required at a cost of $17 billion, and; within the next 10 years 36 per cent of the current age care workforce is due to retire.
“Much has been said in relation to recruitment and retention, about valuing our workforce and, in fact, growing it considerable. LASA knows a lot more needs to be done. Age services are the highest growth industry in Australia and yet it does not receive the funding, support and recognition it deserves,” says Mr Reid.
Aged Service workers are encouraged to sign up at the 3 Million Reasons campaign website, as well as Facebook pages. The Association also has posters to download. Industry professionals, carers and seniors are invited to print the posters and upload photos holding them on the Facebook page.
CEO of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).
Ross Peden CEO Christadelphian Aged Care, Elizabeth Kelly AIN Summit Care, Peter Cosgrove Chair Leading Age Services Australia, Robert Orie CEO Montefiore
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